Health, Law and Ethics

Introduction to Health Law and Ethics

The nurses have primary duties are to take care of patients, ensure decision making, safety duties, abiding by the ethical practices, and while being part of the clinical settings. The nurses must provide a better decision with the best abilities.

Case Study 3

In the given case study, as the Senior Registrar working within the rural hospital, North Queensland as the 1st year intern has bene showing unusual behavior due to the use of illicit drugs, leading to a lack of concentration and low focus. On inspecting and asking the intern, the intern admits and even confirms to use the drugs as he has been denied leaves by hospital stick to relief staff. 

Following the International Council of Nurses ([ICN] 2012) Code of Ethics, the nurse must follow Element 1 to treat the patient with the best of values, rights, customs and hold unbiased opinions, judgments, and beliefs for the overall individual, family, and community. Following the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia ([NMBA] 2018), Code of Conduct for Nurses, Principle 1.2 (c) the nurse must be ethical, honest, abide by the legal values and avoid any unlawful practices. Principle 2.2 states the nurses to adopt the patient-centric approach, and provide maximum care and support and for the patient's values and preferences. Principle 2.3 (d) the nurse has to make informed decision-making practices for the patient. NMBA (2018) Principle 4.4 (a) and (b) obligates nurses to provide the best care practices and adopt alternative care options. As per the Part 1.12.6 of Guide to have the Informed Decision-making in the Health Care, to provide the trainee health practitioner practices healthcare procedure, hold information that could valid consent (Laurie, 2019).

The role of the nurses within the clinical settings should follow the framework of the ethical and legal responsibility and provide the best services and training procedure. As a student nurse, it is important to be mentally alert, be aware of the environment, and understand the repercussion effects of taking illicit drugs. As the senior nurse is aware of the situation, it is important to disclose it to the hospital and seek immediate leaves for the interns, as he is undergoing personal trauma. The nurses on duty have to provide the standard of care (Lukas, et al, 2020). The principle of nonmaleficence meaning non-harming or inflicting the least harm is to understand the beneficial outcome. short term and the long term intake care for self-determination, freedom, and independence. As per the principle of patient autonomy, it is important to make informed decisions and to provide the best decisions for the sake of the patient’s own lives. Liddell v Medical Board of Australia [2012] WASAT 120, where the physician was found to take illicit drugs and the student nurse was obligation her duties, was equally held responsible for the negligence and duties due to the tort of trespass (civil wrong) and the patient is free to file case as per the Health Ombudsman Act 2013 (Qld).

References for Health Law and Ethics

Laurie, G. H., & Dove, E. (2019). Mason and McCall Smith's law and medical ethics. Oxford University Press.

Lukas, S., Crowe, S. J., Law, M., Kahaleh, A., Addo-Atuah, J., Nonyel, N., ... & Tamukong, R. (2020). An ethics-based approach to Global Health Research Part 2: Strategies for overcoming logistic and implementation challenges. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy.

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